PhD defence: Economics of conservation - from local to global

PhD defence

Mathias Vogdrup-Schmidt


International cooperation is needed to protect migratory species and their preferred habitats across borders. But we know little of the factors that compel people in different countries to cooperate to protect those habitats and species. And transnational cooperation ultimately relates to conservation efforts also in one’s home country. The focus of my PhD thesis is to disclose the spatial supply of and trade-offs in ecosystem services at a local and national scale in Denmark as well as examining the behavioral factors affecting regional and international support and cooperation for transnational ecosystem services. I propose a spatial multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach as a decision support tool for evaluating land use change at a local level to disclose how decisions can affect multiple ecosystem services. Further, I propose the spatial MCDA approach in a national Danish setting in an analysis of the trade-offs between land rent of agricultural use and selected ecosystem services. The models effectively identifies areas suitable for land use change consideration and illustrate how land use change decisions can lead to very different outcomes in the provision of ecosystem services. For migratory species transnational cooperation is needed to secure efficient conservation. I examine how the support by Danish households to protect open land habitats at home and in a foreign country is affected by context and framing of the conservation case. The results suggest that sharing the conservation challenge with other countries could lead to higher support at home. Finally, in a transnational experimental setting in Denmark, Spain, and Ghana I examine how framing and added information in a transnational conservation case affect support and cooperation across borders through donations. My results could influence how international conservation organizations develop future fundraising campaigns and increase public support. 



Niels Strange, Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen
Bo Jellesmark Thorsen, Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen

Assesment Committee

Chair: Jette Bredahl Jacobsen, Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen
Kjell Göran Bostedt, Researcher and senior lecturer, Swedish Agricultural University
Anne Stenger, Senior researcher, INRA, UMR BETA-INRA-AgroParisTech-CNRS-Université

If you are interested in a full copy of the thesis, you can contact the PhD student or the supervisors.